The passenger reservation and ticketing systems of the Indian Railways will be revamped to improve capacities, Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Friday in a post-budget press briefing.
Currently, the IT systems of the Railways can process bookings for 25,000 tickets in one minute. “The plan is to augment this capacity to 2.25 lakh tickets per minute. This will require a revamp of servers at the back end. The IT infrastructure, including software, will have to be upgraded to ensure that the website runs on a faster speed,” Mr. Vaishnaw said. The upgradation is expected to be complete by September this year.
The Indian Railways receives four lakh ticketing enquiries a minute. “We plan to augment the capacity to take 40 lakh enquiries a minute,” he said.
In the Union Budget 2023, the Indian Railways has received an outlay of ₹2.4 lakh crore. A part of it would be utilised to lay new tracks. For the next year (FY2023-24), the target is to lay 7,000 km. “We are well on target to achieve the current year target of 4,500 km (at 12 km per day). Before 2014, the per day speed of laying tracks was only a third (4 km per day),” Mr. Vaishnaw said.
Also read: Budget 2023 | Railways gets outlay of ₹2.4 lakh crore
For smooth travel between towns, Vande Metro trains will be launched over shorter distances, in a range of 25 km-60 km. “Cities like Sitapur and Lucknow or Bhubaneshwar and Cuttack will be connected via these trains. This system is well developed in Japan and Europe. These trains will be available every 20 to 30 minutes.” While the Regional Rail Transport System (RRTS) between Delhi and Meerut would be an elevated corridor, Vande Metro would run on the normal rail corridor, he said.
1,000 new flyovers
He said efforts to link towns and villages across railway lines were ongoing and 10,438 flyovers and underpasses had been constructed but “this is not a sufficient number”. “We plan to construct 1,000 new flyovers and underpasses with a new design element to prevent flooding during monsoons,” Mr. Vaishnaw added.
On the “One Station One Product Scheme”, Mr. Vaishnaw said 594 stalls were operational at 550 stations, opening up a new market for local artisans and women self-help groups. “In some of these stalls, artisans’ monthly income is between ₹25,000 and ₹2.5 lakh,” he said. This scheme will be expanded to 750 stations.